Roy Halladay will not take the hill tomorrow night against the Nationals, but he might pitch again this season, possibly Saturday night in Miami.
Manager Charlie Manuel says Halladay will throw a bullpen session today. If he can deal with the spasms behind his right shoulder blade, expect Halladay to start one more time this season.
Since the Phillies' playoff chances are microscopic, it would make sense for a team to shut down a pitcher who has an injury issue. But most pitchers aren't Halladay, who is as competitive as he is hard-working and accomplished. The coaching staff feels that he has earned the right to take the mound again.
"If he wants to pitch and feels he can pitch, why not pitch him," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "Especially if you feel confident from the doctor's reports that there is nothing structurally wrong."
It's not just health that's plaguing the 2010 Cy Young winner. He's had velocity issues since the start of spring training and he has not located like he usually does since mid-May.
"He was a command guy and an action guy," Dubee said. "He could move it both ways. He could sink it, cut it on both sides of the plate."
Halladay had excellent control and the respect of the top hitters in the game. Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira once marveled that Halladay could throw the ball anywhere and Teixeira never knew where it would go.
Well, that was so before this lost season. Since the Phillies are logically, if not mathematically, out of the playoff race, all eyes are on 2013.